Silenced Voices: The Unsettling Allegations of Sexual Harassment within Sri Lanka's Parliament

-By A Special Correspondent

(Lanka-e-News -17.Jan.2024, 10.00 PM) In a shocking revelation, fifteen female employees of the Sri Lankan Parliament have come forward with disturbing accounts of sexual harassment they allegedly faced within the confines of the country's legislative body. These accounts paint a grim picture of an environment where complaints have fallen on deaf ears, and the Speaker of the Parliament, Mahinda Yapa Abeygunawardhana, is accused of using his powers to shield the perpetrators from accountability.

Accusations Against Speaker Abeygunawardhana:

The allegations against Speaker Abeygunawardhana are grave, with the female employees accusing him of obstructing investigations into their complaints. Despite submitting formal complaints, these women assert that the authorities have failed to take any meaningful action, leaving them vulnerable and unprotected within their workplace.

Letter to the Opposition Leader Goes Unanswered:

In an attempt to seek justice, the aggrieved female employees penned a letter to the opposition leader, imploring him to intervene and address the rampant issue of sexual harassment within the Parliament. However, their efforts were met with disappointment as the opposition leader, allegedly influenced by his party's own internal conflicts, failed to act on the complaints.

Complicating matters further, it has been reported that members of the opposition party, specifically Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) MPs, have been accused of sexually harassing a female Parliamentarian within the precincts of the Sri Lankan Parliament. This development has created a complex web of political entanglements, hindering any substantial progress in addressing the complaints of the female employees.

Degrading Scenes Inside Parliament:

Beyond the allegations of sexual harassment, reports suggest a broader culture of misconduct within the Parliament. Witnesses have disclosed unsettling incidents, including the presence of inebriated female MPs within the chambers, purportedly given alcoholic drinks by their male counterparts. In a shocking incident, a female MP was observed half-naked within the Parliament premises, accompanied by two male MPs.

Moreover, the disgraceful revelation that three MPs were caught watching explicit content during a Parliament debate has sparked outrage among citizens. This behavior not only reflects a lack of decorum but also undermines the sanctity of the legislative process.

Prostitution Accusations and Offensive Language:

Disturbingly, two female MPs within the Parliament have been accused of engaging in prostitution, further tarnishing the reputation of the legislative body. Additionally, concerns have been raised about the use of vulgar and offensive language by Parliamentarians, even when children are present at the public gallery. Such behavior not only violates ethical standards but also raises questions about the ethical conduct expected from elected representatives.

Calls for Speaker's Resignation:

In light of these disturbing revelations, there is a growing consensus among concerned citizens and activists that Speaker Abeygunawardhana should resign from his post. The alleged misuse of power to protect those accused of sexual harassment and the broader culture of misconduct within the Parliament have led to a loss of confidence in his ability to uphold the dignity and integrity of the institution.

The onus is now on the relevant authorities, civil society, and the public to demand accountability, thorough investigations, and the implementation of measures to address the pervasive issue of sexual harassment within the Sri Lankan Parliament. Only through transparent and impartial proceedings can the Parliament hope to restore its tarnished image and rebuild public trust in the democratic process. The nation watches as the gravity of these allegations unfolds, demanding justice for the victims and accountability for those who have allowed such misconduct to persist within the heart of Sri Lanka's governance.

-By A Special Correspondent

by     (2024-01-17 17:07:24)

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